Hide and Seek World Championship

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Hide and Seek World Championship
Current championsItaly Italy
WebsiteOfficial website
Official Logo

"Nascondino World Championship" is a unique international hide-and-seek competition.[1] The first edition was held in 2010 in the Italian city of Bergamo, it is held annually in Italy, in summer. The game is a derivative of the Italian version of hide and seek, "nascondino"[2] (hide-and-seek in Italian), and takes place on a playground in the open air, set up with artificial and natural hideouts.[3]


The championship was first held in 2010 in Bergamo, Italy, as an initiative of CTRL Magazine, a local publication.[4] The idea for an international tournament came about by accident at one of the founders' birthday parties, when he and his friends began a spontaneous game of hide and seek and wondered why there was no official world event. Though it started out as a joke, the event has grown year after year.[5]

The first 6 editions took place in Bergamo. The sixth edition took place in Consonno, an abandoned ghost town known as "Land of Toys"[6] or "The Italian Las Vegas",[7] located in the district of Lecco, Lombardy. The location was chosen as the perfect habitat for an hide-and-seek championship and to bring back to life an abandoned place through play.

The seventh edition took place on September 3rd and 4th, 2016 in a 25,000-square-meter field, with 64 teams, including teams from Italy, France, Switzerland, Belgium and the United States, with 320 players taking part in total.[8] After a qualification round and a final round a team from Marseille, France, won the competition[9].

The eight edition took place on September 8th, 9th, 10th, 2017. The target of 80 teams was achieved, with teams from 5 continents and 11 countries: Italy, France, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, Japan, Australia, United States, Africa (representing team with players from different African countries)[10]. The final round was deleted due to heavy rain. Despite the presence of more than 15 foreign teams, the first place was won by an Italian team[11].

Nascondino World Championship 2016 Consonno, Italy

Format and rules[edit]

The rules of the game are a more codified version than the children's hideout. This is a team game, each consisting of 5 players. Players must be 18 years of age. Males and females play together. The playing field is an open air space with natural and artificial hiding.[12]

The championships are generally held in the summer. There are no qualifying tournaments. The organization manages the team registration process and sets the maximum limit for participating teams.[13]

The competition is carried out in rounds. Each round is played by one player per team. Players are given 1 minute to hide from the neutral seeker and 5 minutes to run to home base, a large soft mattress that you can launch yourself towards. The first to reach home base is awarded 20 points, the second is awarded 19 points and so forth. If a player is found by a seeker, the player will not receive any points. Players who do not reach home base before the time is up, and players who are found cheating will also not receive any points. The points obtained by the individual team members in each heat are added together to determine the top 20 teams that will advance to the finals. To ensure the game runs smoothly there will be referees positioned throughout the playing field.[14]

In the past editions, the team of neutral seekers was made up of Rugby and American football players, as they suited the role.[15]

The winning team is awarded "The Golden Fig Leaf",[16] which is biblically the symbol of hiding, referring to the story of Adam and Eve.


Although it is a sporting competition, the organizers intends the hide-and-seek world championship as a moment of sociality and fun. That's why during the championships are organized music festivals, hidden concerts and other entertainment activities.[17]

The "Nascondino World Championship"'s philosophy invites people to come out and play hide-and-seek and also invites people to be themselves and stop hiding.[18]


Yasuo Hazaki, a graduate of Nippon Sport Science University, and professor of media studies at Josai University in Sakado, Japan, had set up a campaign in 2013 to promote hide-and-seek for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.[19] The game Hazaki was promoting was a slightly different traditional Japanese game, more similar to a game of tag. Hazaki contacted "Nascondino World Championship" organizers and said that "Nascondino" rules were more appropriate to be a candidate to the Olympics.[20]

Cultural references[edit]

There is an episode of the sketch comedy Monty Python's Flying Circus called The Olympic Hide-and-seek Final.


  1. ^ "Do You Have What It Takes To Qualify For The Hide-And-Seek World Championship?". Fatherly. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  2. ^ "Italian Ghost Town Hosts the Hide-and-seek World Championship". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  3. ^ "Hide and Seek world championships take place in abandoned Italian village". The Sun. 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  4. ^ Merelli, Annalisa. "A ghost town in Italy is about to come back to life for a hide-and-seek "world championship"". Quartz. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  5. ^ "IN PICS: Italy's crazy hide and seek championship". 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  6. ^ "Consonno". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  7. ^ "Consonno, not only a hamlet but the Italian Las Vegas on Lake Como". Visit Lake Como. 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  8. ^ Sputnik. "Italian Hide and Seek Championship Brings 'Ghost Town' to Life". sputniknews.com. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  9. ^ "France is the world champion… of hide-and-seek !". SBS Your Language. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  10. ^ Woolveridge, Richard (2017-09-10). "Aussie team with high hopes enters world hide and seek championships". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  11. ^ "IN PICTURES: An international hide and seek tournament in an Italian ghost town". 2017-09-11. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  12. ^ "Hide-and-seek is coming out of the sporting shadows". Metro US. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  13. ^ Merelli, Annalisa. "A ghost town in Italy is about to come back to life for a hide-and-seek "world championship"". Quartz. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  14. ^ "Hide and Seek - An Unusual Sport". www.topendsports.com. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  15. ^ "The Hide-and-Seek World Championship is an Actual Event | Oddity Central - Collecting Oddities". www.odditycentral.com. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  16. ^ "An abandoned Italian town will host the hide-and-seek world championships". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  17. ^ "Enter the Hide-and-Seek World Championship and Never Be Found - RealClearLife". RealClearLife. 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  18. ^ "Hide-and-seek is coming out of the sporting shadows". Metro US. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  19. ^ "Japanese professor pushes for Hide and Seek at the Olympics". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  20. ^ Merelli, Annalisa. "A ghost town in Italy is about to come back to life for a hide-and-seek "world championship"". Quartz. Retrieved 2017-05-03.